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Michael Phelan
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DePuy Hip Implant Problems Expand for Johnson & Johnson

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DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, announced earlier this month that its president, David Floyd, is stepping down at the end of the month. This announcement came as the company was dealing with the fall out from a massive recall of the DePuy ASR hip implant and growing concerns about the DePuy metal-on-metal Pinnacle hip implant.

Floyd’s resignation also came just weeks after Johnson & Johnson announced that it set aside about $1 billion to deal with litigation costs and potential settlements related to a DePuy ASR hip implant recall last August. Johnson & Johnson declared net earnings of $1.94 billion for its last reported quarter. Since the announcement about the settlement fund, the National Hip Recall Registry issued a new alert to all DePuy ASR hip replacement patients that the DePuy ASR hip replacement failure rate may be four times higher than originally reported.

More than 90,000 DePuy ASR XL Acetabular Systems and DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing Systems were sold before the hip replacements were recalled in August. The manufacturers originally acknowledged that about 12% to 13% of these hips may fail within five years. New data from both the British Hip Society and the British Orthopedic Association supports much higher failure rates.

In addition to lawsuits over the recalled DePuy ASR hip, Johnson & Johnson and DePuy also face a growing number of DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement lawsuits. Such cases have been filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana and the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee Although a recall for the Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip replacelment model has not been issued, the design of the metal-on-metal ASR and Pinnacle models are so similar that it is not surprising that the same patient complaints are surfacing, and , it would not be surprising if a recall was imminent.